9 Summer Activities for Your Youth Group

Posted on by Heidi Brunsting

By Mikkee Hall

The end of school year activities and events are kicking into full gear – the sign that summer is near. As a youth leader, summer can be a strange, no-man’s land for youth group, and it's pretty much impossible to maintain a true curriculum. Recently graduated seniors, vacations and summer camps keep things unpredictable. It's important to maintain the connection of the youth through the summer months. Here's a mix of ideas for fun summer nights to connect and serve:

1. Host a food drive and volunteer at a food pantry. Did you know that food pantries often need food the most during the summer months? Hosting a food drive with youth is a great way to connect them with the larger church body, and help them become aware of the needs in their community. Take it a step further and have the youth volunteer at a food pantry. Research your local area food banks and pantries to find the best fit for your group.

2. Host a corn-hole tournament. Corn-hole tournament games are always a crowd pleaser and you don’t have to be exceptionally athletic or talented to enjoy the game. Make it a corn-themed night by grilling meat and roasting ears of corn.

3. Serve the community by washing cars. Host a free car wash at the church to serve both the church and neighboring community. With the summer grime, it's hard to keep cars clean, and people will be encouraged by youth taking the time (without expectation) to serve them. Just because. This activity is a great way to reach out to the community and let them know you are there – and you care!

4. Make use of the long days and play giant Jenga outside. It's easy to make and, bonus, you can use it inside during the cold months!

5. Get involved with a homeless organization and serve meals. Every city and town has some sort of nonprofit(s) that serve the homeless population. Volunteering is great way for teens to connect and see the world outside of themselves. A variation on this is to make non-perishable lunch bags (think PB crackers and canned fruit, remember plastic ware and napkins) and pass them out with a group that serves this population.

6. Plan a retro games night. Think pick up sticks, jacks and marbles! Have a yo-yo contest. Play spoons. You can add to the fun and theme of the night by adding retro snacks, like Jello salad, homemade Rice Krispy treats, hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls, Velveeta cheese.

7. Care for the young families in your church. Gather the youth and host a free night of child care for families with young children. Set up a nursery room for those under two and a movie night for kids three and up. Encourage parents to pack pj’s and blankies and a dinner for their kiddos. Order pizza for the youth, and the parents of young families in your church will be loved and encouraged. Coordinate with the director of childrens' ministry at your church.

8. Make string art. Crafts aren’t really something most youth groups want to get into, but this activity is something you can do with all the youth or just have a special event with the kids who want to attend. All you need is some wood, nails, hammer and string.

9. Have a bonfire and a s’mores bar. To end the summer, is there anything better than a big bonfire and roasting s’mores?


Mikkee Hall recently relocated to Denver via Washington DC, where she works for MOPS International as a Content Editor for their blog and magazine. She has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.A. in Intercultural Studies. She has been a Missions Director, Intern Coordinator and Crisis Counselor, and she always loves to find ways to make a difference in lives.

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